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Putting STEM At The Core of Future Education

By Kanjna Paranthaman

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is crucial when preparing students to meet the demands of tomorrow, and is often perceived as a way to improve a country’s global competitiveness.

According to a UNESCO study in 2018, countries with high numbers of students choosing STEM degrees included Oman, India, Germany, Singapore, Algeria, Iran, Myanmar and Malaysia – all producing more than 30% of STEM graduates.

The Malaysian Education Ministry's 2020 Annual Report shared that 47% of university students in Malaysia are enrolled in STEM subjects, and of these 20% are in Pure Science STEM subjects, while the remainder are in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

This raises the question – why are so many countries prioritising STEM education?

One key reason is that we need STEM graduates to help us find solutions to global problems – whether that’s climate change, disease or cybercrime.

STEM subjects also provide learners with critical thinking, problem-solving and exploratory learning skills that prepare them for successful careers and help support a country’s economic development.

Encouraging Interest in STEM through the Cambridge Pathway

It is important for students to understand the importance of STEM in everyday life and consider all the career opportunities that STEM might open up.

That’s why Cambridge International has introduced several new initiatives, developed to inspire interest in STEM subjects throughout the Cambridge Pathway.

We offer science and mathematics throughout the Cambridge Pathway, for learners from 5 to 19 years.

Our syllabuses help students develop the skills they need for the next stage of their education, and for later life, with options to suit every ability level and career aspiration.

Some students struggle to engage with science theory and require a more hands-on approach to learning.

Our new Everyday Science digital resource proves that practical science isn’t just for the laboratory. It helps learners carry out scientific investigations using materials that are available in their homes or local area.

Everyday Science covers key concepts we expect learners to grasp as part of their Cambridge IGCSE, O Level and International AS & A Level Science studies.

It also challenges students to become curious about scientific methods. As they learn, they also gain the practical skills that deepen their scientific understanding and prepare them for a career in science.

To build learners’ passion for science, and help them develop practical and investigative skills, Cambridge International is also launching the Cambridge Upper Secondary Science Competition. This extra-curricular, global competition is specifically for learners working towards their Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Levels and gives them a chance to work as a team and present their findings.

The competition winners will have the opportunity to win the highly coveted ‘Best in Region’ and ‘Best in the World ‘awards.

Mathematics is also an important part of STEM learning, as mathematical knowledge is the foundation for many scientific and technological fields.

Through the Cambridge Pathway, Cambridge International empowers learners to develop a more holistic understanding of the subject, become mathematically competent and help them apply their learning in everyday situations.

We offer mathematics at every stage of the Cambridge Pathway and provide progression routes for every ability level. We have also recently made changes to all of our Cambridge IGCSE and O Level Mathematics syllabuses in response to feedback from our schools.

These changes will give all learners the best opportunity to succeed, thanks to the improved structure and simplified language.

With new STEM initiatives from Cambridge International, we hope to inspire the next generation of Malaysian learners and prepare them for careers in Industry 4.0 and beyond. Additionally, a collective effort from educational institutions in Malaysia is vital in encouraging STEM uptake among the younger generation, an effort which will subsequently lead to a STEM fluent generation of tomorrow. – BACALAHMALAYSIA.MY

  • Writer is Regional Director Southeast Asia & Pacific, Cambridge International. 

BacalahMalaysia Team

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